I used to be a huge control freak. My friends will attest to this, at least those that knew me in college. I had a planner (yes, a paper planner), wherein I scheduled out every minute. I even wrote down my social time. All of this planning and control was motivated by the goal of being successful in college. I felt that if I studied the right amount of time, had the perfect amount of social time, down time, and exercise, then I would be make great grades and land the perfect job. Of course all of this control masked the fear that I would not do well enough. Who for, I hadn’t quite figured out yet. Not surprisingly, the quarter I ditched my planner I got my highest GPA!
Since then, I’ve learned to let things go, although I feel like letting go was more a requirement than a choice. My husband surely would have left long ago, my kids would be maniacs, and I would always be dead tired from trying to keep up the perfect household. So, I don’t sweat that I have unfolded laundry in my office. I don’t’ care that my desk is messy most of the time. I only freak out once a week that the island in our kitchen is piled with mail. I do like my bed made every day and the kitchen clean before I start cooking. But these acts are motivated more by aesthetics and hygiene. I do keep a calendar with everyone’s schedule. This is motivated by necessity, not the need to have everything perfect.
Writing this blog I was tempted to find out how much of a control freak I still am. I found this website: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainsnacks/201006/are-you-control-freak-take-quiz-and-find-out. I actually didn’t do too bad, with a score of 30 just on the high end of “you can live and let live”. I found a good article on working through control issues by Dr. Amy Johnson that can be found at http://tinybuddha.com/blog/let-go-of-control-how-to-learn-the-art-of-surrender/. She has three questions to ask yourself that may help: 1) What am I afraid will happen if I let go of control?; 2) Whose business are you in (yours or someone else’s)?; and 3) Would letting go feel like freedom?
I like the graphic below. It reminds me to put my effort into activities that are worth my time!
Happy Letting Go!